BY Sunaina Luthra/Harsimran Kaur  ON  June 04 , 2022  IN BOOK REVIEWS, GUN ISLAND/AMITAV GHOSH/FICTION

Rating: 4/5

India is a land of myriad cultures and ethnicity, each a spokesperson of its values and beliefs. Within the crust of deep-seated traditions manifests a cauldron of folklores that have never failed to enchant the subtleties of readers. Whether it’s the demons witnessing the intransigence of the all-pervading Gods or a fluke of torrid spikes in the wind making the evil go swirl in the desire to covet the irreplaceable, the tales are a spearhead to transfix us to the megalomaniac thunder-crust of magic and eccentricities.

Amitav Ghosh’s latest book, “Gun Island” blends Bengali folk epic with contemporary adventure. I still remember my grandmother in a discreet persual to fonder us with tales that vibrated a tensed mucosal gulp, but still wanting for more of the magical tales and fables full of wisdom, and we as kids pondering if things could be changed for better. Reading “Gun Island” took me to the same plane of hyper-sensitivity and paradoxes.

Amitav Ghosh writes on the belonging of mind to the perplexity of emotions, forlorn and forsaken.   An incredible writer, he knows how to connect the stomach to the spleen—absorbing the nuances of life and warding off the intoxicating pebbles that seem to derange human existence. He has the uncanny ability to weave history with imagination—a human theology marked by rational or irrational pursuits.

The protagonist Dinanath Dutta, during his visit to mangrove forest- The Sundarbans in West Bengal finds himself steered by precarious incidents—a temple, a goddess and her ardent acrimony with a wealthy gun merchant and the encounter with a venomous snake scourges Dutta to sift the chaff from the grain. What follows ahead is an insidious fall-out of hot streams of water from pot-boilers of climate change, illegal immigration, human aspirations and array of myths that subtly affect the modern day realities.

The book is an amalgamation of lives of peoplein different continents displaced from their homeland due to climatic change and has been well presented through the characters in the book.The flamboyance of the Sundarbans and the city of Venice is thaumaturgic. 


Its applauding how Ghoshhas thread some of his ideas on climate change, ecological disasters, cross-border migration and global movement of refugees in his compelling narrative.

An engrossing read!!!

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